University Fire Code, Banned Items & Violations

Banned Items

Below is a list of banned items in Undergraduate and Graduate housing.

  • Electrical heat-producing appliances
  • Halogen lamps
  • Space heaters
  • Open flames
  • Holiday decorations
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Partitions and paneling
  • Refrigerators or freezers

For a complete list of banned items and explanation for the regulations please visit Housing’s list of Fire Safety Regulations.


Hover Boards and Fire Safety

The Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee has established a University policy which requires that any self-balancing scooters used, possessed, charged or stored on campus must bear the seal of an independent testing laboratory.

For more information on the University policy on hover boards, please see:

For more information on the Underwriters Laboratory approval process for hover boards, please see:

For more information on hover boards recalls by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, please see:


Common Fire Code Violations

Listed below are common fire code violations that are repeatedly encountered during fire safety inspections. We have provided explanations for why these seemingly innocuous violations can be considered a fire hazard.

  1. Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view, and must remain visible at all times.  Fire extinguishers should be mounted to a wall surface to protect them from physical damage.  Also, if you happen to notice the gauge needle pointing in the red area rather than the green area, please notify the Fire Marshal’s office. When a fire strikes, we want these invaluable tools functioning properly!
  2. Extension Cords: If you see one in use, please remove it. Extension cords are strictly prohibited from use inside University buildings as permanent wiring. Should you have the need to use an extension cord on a permanent basis, you must contact Facilities to have the area of use inspected to determine if additional wall outlets can be installed to accommodate your needs. Extension cords cannot tolerate numerous electronic devices, they become overloaded and fry, starting fires. Extension Cords must be replaced with power strips.
  3. Misuse of Power Strips: If you are using a power strip, they must be plugged directly into a wall outlet and not into one another. Do not plug power strips into extension cords to make up the distance to an outlet on the other side of your office. Submit a work order to Facilities for a new outlet to be installed. Again, extension cords are meant for temporary use. An extension cord will not protect your equipment if a surge occurs in the electrical line, but a power strip will. Please use power strips.
  4. Storage Too Close to the Ceiling: The New Jersey fire code requires a 24-inch clearance between stored materials and the ceiling in non-sprinklered rooms. The clearance must be 24-inches to allow manual hose streams to effectively reach the top of burning materials and to project over and beyond to reach other burning materials. Rooms that are equipped with sprinklers must have an 18-inch clearance between the bottom of the sprinkler head and the stored materials. Materials stored too close to the sprinkler head will prevent heat from reaching the sprinkler’s fusible link and prevent water from reaching the seat of the fire once the sprinklers have been activated. Do not hang items from the sprinkler heads! This will also prevent the sprinklers from functioning as normal.
  5. Blocked Emergency Exits and Corridors: Keep emergency exits and corridors free of chairs, filing cabinets, small tables and miscellaneous storage that could cause people to trip. In the event of a fire, this is your pathway to safety. Fires can kill the power to a building. During a fire, the corridors can become smoky and dark; any blocked emergency exits or corridors may slow down the evacuation of the building and compromise your path to safety!
  6. Electrical Panels: Most electrical panels will be located inside mechanical or custodial closets that the majority of you don't have access to, however, electrical panels need to have a clearance on all sides and in front of them so that they can be easily accessed to shut off electricity to various parts of the building in the event of a fire. Please keep all electrical panels free of obstruction.
  7. Door Chocks: No door chocks are allowed on any stairway or fire rated doors. Fire doors serve to protect you in the event of a fire. Some offer more protection than others. Doors with a fire rating will indicate how long they are expected to hold up in a fire. If the door is chocked open, it has a fire rating of zero minutes and offers no protection! Wooden door chocks can also damage doors. If you need to have an office door held open for air circulation or to stay cool, then use a rubber door chock and remove it whenever you leave your office.
  8. Missing or Damaged Ceiling Tiles: Ceiling tiles serve to prevent fire and smoke from traveling through the ceiling shaft to other parts of the building. Building maintenance personnel and outside contractors often remove ceiling tiles to make repairs without putting them back once the service is complete. Some ceiling tiles consist of fire rated material and must be replaced if damaged or removed. Please submit a work order to Facilities to have missing or damaged ceiling tiles replaced.
  9. Illuminated Exit Signs: Exit signs must be illuminated at all times, including when the building is not fully occupied. If a fire occurs late at night, there may be cleaning crews or persons working overtime in the building who will need to be able to locate an exit. If you should notice that an exit sign is not illuminated, please submit a work order to Facilities.
  10. Storage of Combustible Materials: There shall be no miscellaneous combustible storage kept in any portion of a stairway. Storage of combustible materials in designated mechanical rooms shall be neat and orderly so as to allow for immediate access to all service equipment. Storage shall be separated from all heating devices or electrical equipment by distance so that ignition does not occur.

Housing also suggests solutions to Safety Violations on their website.

Items that violate the University Fire Code

If you are an incoming student at Princeton University you might be wondering what items you can and cannot bring with you to your dorms. This information can be found at the Housing Fire Safety website.

Please note the items that violate Fire Code and University Policy and are subject to fines.